Fake news is endemic to political campaigns and most of it comes from the campaigns, not from foreign interference.
If there is something ominous about the government involving itself, however indirectly, in deciding what is and is not fake news, there is something quite ludicrous about a political party raising the alarm over the spreading of falsehoods during an election campaign. Indeed, a good short definition of an election campaign would be “a sustained, intense, all-party burst of falsehood, slander and misrepresentation.”
While it is true that new technology has made it easier to spread falsehoods in greater volume at lower cost and less detectability than before, one suspects what is really behind the panic over “fake news” is that the parties’ monopoly over it has been broken.
With social media, everyone can be a propagandist!
Second, Coyne points out that fake news is a demand problem, not a supply problem. Literally, there are lots of people hungry for fake news and happy to share it on social media.